RAPID CITY, S.D. — Whether you’re a welder or an EMT, it’s not difficult to find a job in a trade if you have the experience.
At Western Dakota Tech on Tuesday, roughly 100 high school students tried their hands at learning potential careers for at least a day.
“We are more focused on that didactic and hands on education that we have for our students,” said Nora Leinen, the Assistant Director of Enrollment for WDT. “It’s really important that we get students in there experiencing and interacting with our programs to find out what they truly do want to pursue after high school as a career.”
Carl Massa is a senior at Hot Springs High School and plans on being a Radiologist down the road.
He says that the different stations were demonstrating blood tests, EMT training and much more to show him what he could do.
“Coming here, it’s kind of like an experience to see what like my part plays in the whole of like a hospital,” Massa said.
The total list of medical programs that the high schoolers experienced is the following:
- Dental Assisting
- Medical Lab Tech
- Surgical Technology
- Health Information Management
On the other side is the WDT Welding Program that takes these high school welders skills and puts them to the test, both in the classroom and out of it for the third annual event.
“What’s nice about a lot of the high school students is a lot more interest in welding to begin with so they have high school welding courses already, so they come with a a basic general knowledge and skill set to begin with so they can kind of move right into it,” said Michael Prugh, the Welding Program Director at WDT.
It’s helping students learn a few tricks of the trade, and other students like Matthew Marrs, a senior at Spearfish High School, hone his nearly 10 years of welding experience.
“It’s basically just working on things you already know and trying to refine. Those get that skill set. Uh, trying to become as good as we can at it,” Marrs said.
For the welding competition, first through tenth prizes were presented to the top 10 finishers.